Perfect birding weather
We've been spoiled by several weeks of sunny weather, the kind that makes it hard to stay inside and work.
On a Monday, Sarah and I escaped to Smith and Bybee Lakes in North Portland.
We had yet to see a Red-shouldered Hawk this year, so we were delighted to find two very vocal youngsters calling repeatedly from the willows near the inter-lakes trail.
A week later, we were scheduled to lead a field trip at Dawson Creek Corporate Park in Hillsboro. Sarah developed a nasty cold the night before, so I was on my own.
The day started off foggy, but we managed to find plenty of Acorn Woodpeckers and another Red-shouldered Hawk. The skies finally cleared as I led the group to a place we call the Wood Duck Pond. I hoped it wouldn't be empty, as it was on our last field trip there in April.
Success! Dozens of Wood Ducks and Mallards were illuminated in the sunshine. We listened to the Wood Duck' squeaky calls, and admired the crisp plumage on both species. It was tough to tear ourselves away from the ducks, but we had to look for more birds and finish the walk. We missed a few species we'd hoped to see, including the ever-elusive White-breasted Nuthatch. But, with blue skies, blazing leaves, and a pond full of ducks, it's hard to complain!